Storm Water Runoff - The Basics
Storm water runoff is created when rain or snow melt flows over surfaces that do not allow water to flow into the ground. Such surfaces are called impervious. Impervious surfaces include rooftops, roadways, parking lots, driveways and sidewalks. The amount of runoff during a rainfall event increases as the imperviousness of the landscape increases. This runoff eventually flows into our nearby wetlands, lakes, streams and rivers.
Read more about Middletown's storm water rules and regulations here.
Storm water runoff becomes contaminated when it flows across these impervious areas picking up liquid and solid pollutants that accumulate there. Common pollutants found in runoff can include:
- Cigarette Butts
- Excess Sediment
- Motor Oil
- Pet Waste
- Salt and Deicing Chemicals
- Septic System Waste
- Yard Clippings
Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution
These contaminants are called nonpoint source (NPS) pollution as it is difficult to identify exactly where each pollutant came from once it enters our waterways. Over time, these pollutants can accumulate in unsafe levels in our waterways - posing a danger to plant and animal life. If the pollutant levels become too high our lakes, streams and rivers may become unsafe for fishing, drinking or swimming - violating state and federal regulations.
What Can I Do?
You can help the City of Middletown manage storm water and protect local water quality through simple actions such as:
- Install rain barrels to catch rooftop runoff and use the water for your garden
- Install a rain garden on your property to reduce the amount of runoff going into the storm sewers
- Use the minimum amount of fertilizers and herbicides on your lawn and garden
- Substitute previous pavers for concrete on your patio to allow rain to soak into the ground
- Take your car to the shop to have the oil changed - reducing the likelihood of oil spilling on your driveway or in the street
- Avoid pouring pollutants, such as paint and oil from your vehicles into storm drains
- Don't litter
- Pick up after your pet - on the lawn as well as on the street or sidewalk
- Wash your vehicle on the lawn instead of the driveway to keep grime and soap from your car out of the storm drains
- Report spills on or near storm drains or waterways to Storm Water Maintenance at 513-425-1897
Federal Storm water discharges are regulated nationwide under the Clean Water Act and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II program which is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The regulations include specific requirements that must be met by regulated communities and the construction industry. Regulated communities are those that are identified as a municipality with separate storm sewer systems (MS4).
State of Ohio
Legal requirements for MS4 communities in Ohio are found in the Ohio NPDES Phase II MS4 Permit (PDF) and the Construction General Permit (PDF). The storm water program is regulated by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
City of Middletown
The City of Middletown must comply with the Phase II storm water regulation requirements as it has been officially identified as an MS4 community.
Storm Water Management Plan
Under its storm water program, the City has developed a Storm Water Management Plan (PDF) which is approved by the Ohio EPA. These documents outline the city's regulatory compliance goals and identifies specific activities to meet those goals.
Every year, the City submits a summary of its storm water compliance activities in an Annual Report (PDF) to Ohio EPA.